Healthy Sugar Substitutes
Do you reach for one cookie or chip; is the bag empty before you know it?
Do you skip dessert but empty the breadbasket — and the pasta platter?
Do you spend the day on a roller coaster of snacking highs and lows, hitting the doughnuts in the morning, the vending machine chips or candy in the afternoon, and the ice cream at night?
Do you eat healthy around other people but lose it when you’re alone?
If you answered yes to two or more questions, you are highly susceptible to the addictive powers of sugar or hidden sugar.
Even though you may not be eating Oreos or guzzling cans of Coke, doesn’t mean sugars absent from your diet. You’re mostlikely eating sugar throughout the day without even realizing it.
Sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste all that sweet, like in breads, condiments, and sauces.
A high-sugar diet boosts your odds of tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention weight gain.
How to Stamp Out Sugar?
Lets begin Step by Step by identifying the source of sugar in every meal and eradicating it.
Reality Check: How much ever healthy and popular they may sound; breakfast cereals are paupers of good health.
Most of the breakfast cereals are laden with sugar in the form of honey or high fructose syrup. Switch to lower-sugar cereals or those with no added sugar, such as:
Plain whole-wheat cereal biscuits
Try adding a few chopped dried apricots or a sliced banana instead of sugar. For a more gradual approach, you could eat sugary cereals and plain cereals on alternate days, or mix both in the same bowl.
If toast is your breakfast staple, try whole meal or granary bread, which is higher in fiber than white bread. Top the toast with fresh fruits instead of jam, marmalade or honey or spice it up with some avocado and mint dressing.
Ready-made soups, stir-in sauces, pasta sauces and ready meals can also be higher in sugar than you think.
When eating out or buying takeaways, watch out for dishes that are typically high in sugar, such as sweet and sour dishes, sweet chili dishes and some curry sauces or salads with dressings like salad cream are also high in sugar.
Stave away from condiments and sauces such as ketchup that have roughly half a teaspoon of sugar per serving. These foods are usually served in small quantities, but the sugar count can add up if eaten every day.
Cereal bars or high fiber biscuits despite their healthy image are high in sugar and fat.
Once in a while, fresh fruit can be a good substitute as you break away from processed sugars. Trading processed treats for fruit-based snacks is a great way to slash added sugar and up your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Enjoy a sliced apple or pear with a dollop of almond butter, layer plain, nonfat organic yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt)
Nearly a quarter of the added sugar in our diets comes from sugary drinks, such as fizzy drinks, sweetened juices, squashes, and cordials. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also a big part of beverage consumption. They’re full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and additives you don’t need. Skip them.
If you take sugar in tea or coffee, gradually reduce the amount until you can cut it out altogether, Try some new flavors with herbal teas, or make your own with hot water and a slice of lemon or ginger.
Instead of the fizzy cola opt for sparkling water and water with slices of orange and mint sprigs is an even better option for fruit juices.
Work out some ground rules. Do you need to have dessert every day? How about only having dessert after your evening meal, or only eating dessert on odd days of the month, or only on weekends, or only at restaurants?
Less sugary desserts include fruit – fresh, frozen, dried. Alternatively top up plain yogurt with some berries to avoid flavored yogurts high in sugar.
To sum it up identify the sources of sugar even in the hidden form.Usual suspects are sodas or other sweetened beverages, sugar you add yourself, and processed baked foods.
There is mounting evidence that sugar can be addictive. But if you have strong cravings and you feel you’re addicted to sugar, don’t get discouraged.
Your best bet is to use a gentle, step-by-step process that gives your body and your taste buds time to adapt. Start by believing that you can do it and make a commitment to give it all you’ve got over a period of time that feels realistic to you and trick the sweet tooth fairy.